Oct 15, 2019
Hit or Bomb? April 2019 movie predictions
So, anybody heard anything good about any upcoming movies lately? The word on the street is that there’s some kind of superhero thing coming out at the end of this month. Ah, who are we kidding? The next Avengers movie is going to make all the money available in the known universe. Disney now owns Fox, Disney now owns all blockbuster franchises, Disney now owns all our souls. Here to make some of the easiest box office predictions in recent memory are Thomas Ricard, Tyler Peterson, Thomas Stockel, and Rick Lewis.
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Shazam! (April 5)
It’s that other Captain Marvel movie, this time from DC, starring Asher Angel as Billy Batson, a teenage boy who meets an ancient wizard (Djimon Hounsou) who gives him the ability to change into a grownup musclebound superhero (Zachary Levi) just by yelling the word “Shazam!”
Thomas R: One of the things I liked best about the first Sam Raimi Spider-Man was the subtext of Spidey’s superpowers working as a not-so-subtle metaphor for puberty, so it’s cool to see that metaphor become outright text here. Having Shazam played by Chuck doofus Zachary Levi as opposed to a more traditional paragon of masculinity is also a nice touch. It’s already got great reviews and an eager audience, so mark this as a surefire HIT.
Tyler: Since Aquaman was DC’s Thor: Ragnarok, this feels like it’s going in a little bit of an Ant-Man direction, which in practice looks like Hancock mixed with Big, I guess? I mean, I appreciate that they’re venturing into the territory of funny movies (as opposed to “funny” movies), but the gags and meta-riffs have all mostly been done before by better movies. The only way they could really do something original is to really lay in on the psychosexual implications of the premise. BOMB.
Thomas S: I admit I have a soft spot in my heart for the Big Red Cheese. The idea of a kid becoming an adult with superpowers with just a word? It’s a dream come true! This movie hopefully will appeal to a demographic of kids who share a similar dream. Hopefully, it’ll also appeal to fans of movies like Deadpool who want to see less serious super-heroic fare. I predict a HIT.
Rick: It’s amazing how much creepier that scene is where Elizabeth Perkins screws a 12 year old when you’re watching Big as an adult instead of as a 12 year old. Still, it’s a great movie that could only be made better if Josh were a superhero rather than a toy company executive. HIT. Say, anyone ever wonder if Josh grew up to be an Applebee’s manager who everyday bitches that he was a fucking Fortune 500 company executive in middle school and now has to deal with this shit everyday? There’s no way he has that same charmed career path twice. Also, when did the guy from Chuck gets so effin’ ripped? Did you know he was also the Robin Hood-looking dude from the second and third Thor movies? I had no idea.
Pet Sematary (April 5)
The Stephen King Renaissance continues with this second adaptation of his novel in which a doctor (Jason Clarke) and his family move to rural Maine, where they discover a mysterious burial ground with the power to raise the dead.
Thomas R: I know the novel is pretty well-known and the 1989 adaptation is a cult classic, but is that really an excuse for the trailer to spoil the whole plot? Where’s the atmosphere? Where’s the dread and mystery? And why do these stories always have a world-weary old timer to spoon-feed the audience explanations of what’s going on? Horror is hot and 1980s-inspired nostalgic horror is especially hot, so this’ll do fine for audiences waiting for the next It movie. HIT.
Tyler: I like how the trailer gives away the entire plot of the first Pet Sematary for those who haven’t seen it and simultaneously ensures none of those people will see the remake because it looks dull as old bananas. BOMB.
Thomas S: I wasn’t a fan of the original Pet Sematary. In fact, I’ll admit that I think Stephen King is a bit overrated. Seeing the trailer to this movie hasn’t done anything to dissuade me of that opinion. That being said, I think there are enough King fans as well as fans of horror to make this movie a HIT.
Rick: Yeah, so, this looks well made, and it’s horror, and it’s Stephen King, so HIT. And John Lithgow looks awesome. Anyone else see The Crown? It took some balls to cast Lithgow as Churchill, but he rocked it. I’m glad he’s past his Third Rock from the Sun phase. I mean, it was fine, and Tommy turned out to be a great actor despite a couple nonsensical turns as Cobra Commander and Robin. Did you know he’s Slowen Lo in The Last Jedi?
Hellboy (April 12)
NSFW/Red Band Trailer
In this movie reboot of the Dark Horse Comics character directed by Neil Marshall and starring David Harbour in the title role, Hellboy and his adoptive father (Ian McShane) and their government allies must battle an undead sorceress (Milla Jovovich) who’s out to destroy the world.
Thomas R: I don’t know what’s sadder: the fact that the director of The Descent somehow managed to suck all the creativity out of Mike Mignola’s universe and turn it into a boring CGI cloud à la Tom Cruise’s Mummy, or the fact that this is what we’re getting instead of Guillermo Del Toro’s third Hellboy. At least David Harbour looks good. BOMB.
Tyler: Look, I love David Harbour. Everyone loves David Harbour. And I think he’s doing a fine job as Hellboy. But no one really needed a new Hellboy. Plus, the crappy first trailer for Hellboy being followed by a second, more fun trailer with visual flair that everybody likes more is giving me serious Suicide Squad flashbacks. BOMB.
Thomas S: As someone who loved the previous Hellboy movies, I had really been hoping to see Ron Perlman in the role one more time. But we don’t always get what we want, do we? This new movie has the benefit of starring Ian McShane, whose career seems to be on fire these days with American Gods, John Wick 3, and this film, as well as a Deadwood motion picture on the way. My feeling is McShane picks winners, so I’m thinking this movie is going to be at the very least a minor HIT.
Rick: I’m super excited to see the X-Men rebooted now that they’re part of Disney, but who the hell wanted to see another version of Hellboy? I guess David Harbour looks cool, so they did a great job with character design, even if the effects in the trailer are hit-and-miss. He would have made a great Cable, which is a thing that almost happened in the second Deadpool movie, but I just can’t get excited about this. And neither can he, based on his acting in the trailer. Him being all low-key kind of works with the humor they’re going for, but it really drains the tension from action scenes. Sandwiched between Shazam! and Endgame is a shit place for a lackluster superhero movie, too. BOMB.
Avengers: Endgame (April 26)
After Dr. Strange, Spider-Man, Black Panther, Scarlet Witch, Star-Lord, and half of all life in the galaxy was wiped out by Thanos in Infinity War, the remaining Avengers (plus Carol Danvers) join forces and presumably make some heroic sacrifices to hit the reset button before the next Spider-Man movie comes out in July.
Thomas R: Say what you will about Marvel; they certainly know how to turn their movies into global cultural events. While I can’t help feeling like I’m watching a corporate clip of a new product announcement, I’m as hooked as everyone else to see how this era of superhero movies ends, and what Robert Downey Jr. will be doing after Tony Stark’s inevitable death. This should go without saying, but BIGGEST MEGAHIT OF THE YEAR.
Tyler: The civilizations which succeed our own once the climate apocalypse is over are going to study the Marvel Cinematic Universe the way we study classical mythology, and this movie will be their Illiad. HIT.
Thomas S: Here it is: the culmination of eleven years of Marvel movies, the big payoff. Never before have we seen a franchise quite like this, nor do I think we ever will again. With a few minor bumps along the way, lightning has has repeatedly struck for the MCU brand, and I don’t see anything changing now. Another massive HIT for the MCU and Disney.
Rick: What a boring-ass title they finally settled on. “Endgame“. What’s that tell you about the movie? Precisely Jack. Of course, they could have called it Avengers: Gigli Was Totally Underrated, Guys, Seriously, Give It a Chance and everyone who saw the last one (ie, everyone) would still show up. I’m just gonna assume the cat from Captain Marvel slurps up Thanos at the end and then hacks up all the vanished people in the post-credits scene. HIT.
How’d we do on last month’s predictions?
Budget: $152M | Earnings to date: $354M | Projected total earnings: $385M
Prediction: 100% said HIT (4 of 4)
Reality: Cosmic HIT
Budget: $20M | Earnings to date: $128M | Projected total earnings: $190M
Prediction: 100% said HIT (4 of 4)
Reality: Quit HITting yourself
Budget: $170M | Earnings to date: $46M | Projected total earnings: $130-150M
Prediction: 50% said HIT (2 of 4)
Reality: Big-eared BOMB
Five Feet Apart
Budget: $7M | Earnings to date: $36M | Projected total earnings: $45-50M
Prediction: 25% said HIT (1 of 4)
Reality: Death-defying HIT (thanks to that tiny budget)
FINAL SCORE: 2 right, 1 wrong, 1 tie
How movies are judged:
- The Agony Booth judges a movie to be a HIT if we project that it will significantly exceed its production budget in domestic (U.S and Canada) box office earnings. Our rule of thumb is +20%, but this may slide up or down based on the marketing budget.
- The Agony Booth only considers domestic box office total, because the share of international ticket sales that ends up with the studio varies not just from studio to studio, but often from movie to movie (although this is less true than it used to be).